Blog Header 2015                                 photo homemadam_zpscdca9329.jpg photo aboutmadam_zps9ff31e10.jpg photo contactmadam_zps082b637a.jpg

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, 26 February 2015

AB Gnocchi 1

Good evening lovely people! I exhausted. Not the sort of glamorous exhaustion which leaves women draped elegantly on the bed I am face-plant-the-mattress tired. I just arrived back from the BBC Good Food party - which was admittedly pretty swanky - and now my body is exhausted but my brain is still buzzing from the excitement of the evening.This week I am thankful for:

{Helpful People}

I am a person that loves to help - to the point of it probably being annoying and invasive - but I'd rather offer unwanted help than not offer to someone in need. This week I've realised that there are a lot of people who think the same. I don't know if it's an oldest child 'thing' but I have really struggled with asking for help in any situation but I have realised that it isn't practical or sustainable. I am thankful that I know so many lovely and helpful people. (I'd be interested if any other big brothers/sisters struggle to ask for help?!)

{Walking to Work}

I was sat pouting about going to the gym on Monday morning. For people who don't know me - I have something called hypermobilty (not too severe luckily) - it really limits the types of exercise I can do as I have incredibly weak knees and hips. I was getting fed up of going to the gym and being able to do so little, or at least feeling as though I'm getting so little from it. So I decided to wear my heart rate monitor on a walk to work thinking it would give me good exercise and save me money on transport. When I say walk I actually mean a 1 hour 15 hike/ expedition / marathon. I walked from East London to Oxford Circus twice this week and both times were more effective cardio than going to the gym!

{BBC Good Great Food}

As an aged BBC Good Food fangirl I was pretty thankful that I got to go to this party through work. I met some amazing chefs, mucked about in the Photo Booth and go to eat some incredible food. I'm also thankful for friends that tell me when I have mint sauce in my teeth..


I gave it a go.. I loved it.. I wrote a recipe..

This week was a good one at this week included pay day, which was very much welcomed as I ran out of all of my skincare this week! I hope you all had a lovely week?

Ginger doily biscuits

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

ginger doily cookies

175g plain flour
62g unsalted butter
87g brown sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 egg
2 tbs golden syrup

It's no surprise that I love biscuits.. who doesn't? Ginger ones particularly, but what bothers me about good dipping biscuits - your ginger nuts, digestives and hobnobs - is that they are just a bit ugly. I thought I would have a go at making some slightly fancier alternatives with the same dip-able consistency and spicy flavour.
How to:
- Mix together the flour, bicarb and spices.
- Add the butter to the dry mix and blend (using a mixer is easiest) until a sandy texture.
- Add the sugar and mix until combined.
- Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup and add slowly to the mixture.
- Knead until smooth, wrap in cling film and leave to chill for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Roll out on a well floured surface until double the desired thickness of your biscuits.
- Place the doily over the dough and continue to roll with the rolling pin.
- Cut out and placed on a lined baking tray.
- Cook for 7-10 minutes, depending on the thickness. Don't be tempted to leave them in any longer, they will harden as they cool.
- Place to cool on a wire rack and then enjoy with a brew.

Sunday Baking

Sunday, 22 February 2015

sunday baking
There is something terribly therapeutic about getting busy in the kitchen on a Sunday - get your minds out of the gutter people! Sundays were made for prolonged breakfasts (normally syrup laden), copious cuppas and baking. Always baking. My kitchen is currently saturated with the smell of banana bread and I even had a go at making gnocchi recently - as you can see from above - it was very messy! I had a lovely Sunday, a trip to Chinatown to take in some of the Chinese New Year, then off to Columbia Road flower market, Drunken Monkey for some Dim Sum and then home to make some banana bread all before 2pm. A relaxing but productive day. Did any of you get up to anything exciting?

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, 19 February 2015

cold by the canal
Good morning my lovelies! It's my time of the week to be thankful, I've had a heck of a week so far - properly bonkers. I've made some frankly ridiculous mistakes, I've revelled in the gorgeous weather and I've gorged myself on the battery delight we know and love - pancakes. I was thinking about what to give up on lent - I don't mean from a religious perspective - more as a practice of restraint. I'd be really interested to hear what you are all thinking of giving up.
This week I am thankful for:

Being able to laugh at yourself is one of the most important things in the world. Laughing is always better than crying and I am thankful for the good humour of the people around me and the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

{The Light}
I've seen the light.. *dramatic pause*.. The light has finally arrived which means spring is on its way. When I wake up in the morning the sky is no longer shrouded in darkness, there's light and this week the weather has been glorious - it's been a joy to get out of bed in the morning.

{Foxcroft and Ginger}
I decided to do a bit of walking around my local area with Irish at the weekend and we stumbled across the most incredible place in Mile End. Foxcroft and Ginger - I had the best french toast of my life, it was utterly delicious and it's really spurred me on to try and find other nearby gems.

{My associates}
The horrendous conduct of the Chelsea fans in France over the past few days has saturated the news channels - quite rightly too. I am so glad that I have never been so unfortunate to either know, encounter or be within earshot of such vulgar and repugnant opinions.

I couldn't resist sharing these snaps from down by the canal a few weekends back. I really adore London but I also love being able to escape to the country every so often to get some much needed fresh air in my sails. I hope everyone is having a lovely week - I'm thinking about heading to Brighton at the weekend - I would love some recommendations?

Healthy banana pancakes

Sunday, 15 February 2015

pancake day 2015
With pancake day coming up on Tuesday I thought I would put together a little recipe for you - something which is super simple, with minimal ingredients and (if you don't drown in syrup..) are relatively healthy! Great for people who are looking for a dairy or gluten free alternative.
::What you need::
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 bananas
- 2 tsps cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- handful of blueberries
- drizzle of syrup or honey

- Mash up the bananas and mix together with the egg, cinnamon and baking powder. I personally use my trusted Nutri Bullet because it's quicker and easier than a fork - I just throw all the ingredients in together
- I used a blender to mix my batter until it was nice and smooth
- Add the batter to a hot pan - I put a little coconut oil into the pan to stop it sticking - and cook until brown on each side

Then tuck in.. it really is ridiculously simple, it tastes so wonderful and I didn't even feel guilty because it was almost healthy!

Strawberry Chocolate Hearts

Friday, 13 February 2015

Valentines chocolate hearts
An ode to St Valentine, I'm really not the sort to celebrate such a hideously garish holiday but I couldn't resist the temptation for a little themed recipe experiment. I wanted to try and make something which wouldn't require me to buy anything other than ingredients, something which was super quick and easy and tasted amazing (it's basically healthy too). 

All you need is...
- Strawberries
- 100g milk chocolate
- 100g white chocolate
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- A sharp knife
- A toothpick

  • This honestly couldn't be easier. Chop the strawberries in half and cut a triangle from the tops of each halves to create a heart shape.
  • Dab off any excess moisture from the outside of the strawberries as it will make it easier to coat in chocolate.
  • Heat the milk chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second blasts. The oil makes it easier to coat the strawberries and makes the finish much smoother.
  • Allow the  chocolate to dry.
  • Melt some white and milk chocolate (this is for drizzling) in the microwave and put it into two sandwich bags.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag to create a makeshift piping nozzle and drizzle backwards and forwards, making sure it extends past the edge of each strawberry,
  • Using the toothpick - quickly before it dries - and drag the toothpick down each of the strawberries and this will create the gorgeous marbled effect

Thankful Thursday

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

thankful thursday 12.03.15
Happy Thursday! I hope everyone is having a lovely week so far? My last weekend was so enjoyable,  it is nice to think that my weekend starts again tomorrow night. This one will be spent down in London with Irish - let's just hope my damn shower is fixed by then! This week I am thankful for:
{ Correspondence }
Particularly emails. I know it sounds odd, but I really enjoy receiving and answering emails, there is something unbelievably satisfying about having a happy inbox.

{ Blueberry porridge }
A little tip from the lovely Deliciously Ella yesterday I tried heating my porridge with the blueberries already mixed in and it was unbelievably good and it turns the whole porridge a vibrant blue.

{ A new blog header }
It's nothing fancy, it's nothing crazy but it's been something I've been meaning to change for a while but never got around to it until yesterday evening - what do you think?

Ombré napkins

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

ombre napkin diy
On thing that comes from being a blogger is a plethora of 'needed' props collected for photographs - not many people naturally have a beautiful array of plates, cutlery, napkins and table cloths at the ready for food photography - these are things which are collected over time. One thing I've been lusting after is some good ombréd/ dip dyed napkins to add a little something to photographs - or for potential dinner parties because grown-ups have napkins right?
But, being on a budget means that I can't afford to raid Selfridges or Anthropologie for my coveted home-ware so I thought I would do a little DIY job using £3 Primark pillow cases, Dylon dye in jeans blue which they kindly sent me, salt and a little patience.
Cut the pillow case into two - or use ready cut cotton - mix the dye as instructed. Using rubber gloves take your damp pillowcase and dip the end into the dye mix. Move the pillow case up and down dipping a little more in the dye each time to get the ombre effect - make sure to keep moving it or you will end up with harsh dye lines.
Hang up to dry (carefully so you don't get dye everywhere!) and that's as simple as it could possibly be. I personally like the rustic, well used look of a wrinkled napkin but freshly pressed they would make any dinner table look mighty fancy.
ombre napkin diy 1

Dublin Diary

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Dublin Diary 3
Dublin Diary 2
Dublin Diary 1
There were many things I loved about my trip to Ireland last weekend so I thought I would share a couple of my favourite photographs. 
Places to visit:
- The long library & the book of Kells : think Harry Potter meets Beauty and the Beast
- St Stephens Green : a beautiful oasis right in the centre of Dublin
- Trinity college : an incredibly beautiful campus with over 400 years of history to explore
- New Grange : a bit further out, an ancient burial mound older the the pyramids!

Places to eat:
- Hatch & Sons : the best lunchtime or coffee retreat
- The Hot Stove : if you're feeling fancy this is michelin star Irish cuisine
- The Woollen Mills : great for an interesting array of cakes albeit a little pricey
- San Lorenzo's : BEST NACHO'S EVER - their food is incredible and reasonable
- Dublin's worst kept secret drinking haunt : The no name bar
- The Crow Bar : another great place for after sun-down

I'm sure the more I get to visit and explore Dublin and Ireland I will start putting together a proper little guide because I loved it - I mean really loved it. I actually think I might like it even more than London, it has that small-city feel that I miss from my University years up in York. If you have any great tips for Ireland and Dublin please let me know as I'm sure I'll be back soon!

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Good morning folks! How is everyone today? I couldn't believe my eyes when Irish showed me this photo he snapped in Dublin where I am genuinely smiling without looking a little bit awkward like I usually do. I feel really thankful this week - having a relaxing 7 days must've been exactly what the Dr ordered. This week I am thankful for:

|| R&R ||
For the first time in the longest time I had a little mini holiday. I arrived in Ireland on Wednesday morning and left Sunday evening. It was the most relaxing and enjoyable few days I've had in a very long time. It was so lovely to get to spend quality time with Irish #longdistancewoes and getting to know his wonderfully warm and welcoming family.

|| Honesty ||
This is one thing that I think is often missing in social, professional and personal relationships. It is easy to get wrapped up in your thoughts and feelings without being honest with the people around you. I am really thankful that I have strong, honest connections with the people in my life because I feel like I could tell my friends, family and Irish everything. It takes a lot of practice to to be upfront with people but you'll be thankful you did and you'll wonder how life worked any other way.

|| Smell of fresh washing ||
*Ashamedly raises hand for the lamest reason to be thankful* I am sitting here snug in my bed, it's a new day, I have a cup of tea in my hand and my clothes dried overnight in my bedroom so there is this gorgeous, fresh, clean smell filling my room. I feel like if my room always smelt like this, every day would start a little bit better.

|| A sense of direction ||
Maybe the laundry fumes have gone to my head but I feel like I have regained my direction in life. It felt a little bit like I was floating around between September and January but I've now got in place things to aim for, professional aspirations, plans for places to visit and a pretty well balanced life.

I really hope that everyone awoke with the same excitement for a new day - even if it's just because it brings us another day closer to the weekend! I'd love to hear what you are thankful for at the moment so please do let me know?
Love Lisette x
p.s. It's World Nutella Day! If you missed it here's a link to my Nutella hot chocolate recipe.